David Hazeltine: The Classic Trio
As the album title suggests, Hazeltine is not looking to break any new stylistic ground here. Rather, he is working within, and extending, the great piano trio tradition pioneered by the likes of Art Tatum, Nat King Cole, Oscar Peterson, and Bill Evans. At its best, Hazeltine's group combines the hard swing of Peterson's trios with the modernism and lyricism of Evans'.
In addition to four very strong Hazeltine originals, the group tackles challenging compositions by piano masters Bud Powell and Cedar Walton, and offers fresh takes on standards like "You Make Me Feel So Young" and "These Foolish Things." The rapport and spontaneity between Hazeltine, Washington, and Hayes, one of the great hard bop drummers, is superb. Although he has yet to develop a particularly distinctive personality at the piano, Hazeltine has successfully synthesized the lessons of his modern jazz piano predecessors. This terrifically-talented pianist deserves major attention.
Record Label: Sharp Nine Records